ATV assignment 5 – My capsule collection – Reflection

My capsule collection is connected obviously by the subject matter – nettles, and less so by a feeling of poignancy; my chambers app defines it thus-

poignant /poinˈyənt, -ənt/

adjective-Touching, moving, exciting pathos,Stinging, pricking,Sharp,Acutely painful,Penetrating,Pungent,Piquant

ORIGIN: OFr poignant, prp of poindre, from L pungere to sting

poignˈancy noun

poignˈantly adverb

My empathic feelings towards the unwanted seeping into my ideas.

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I’m pleased with this,  especially the little flowers which are all similar( materials) but different (technique). I think that couching the nettle stem in the stem worked well, however I have a concern that overall it may look a little bit 70s. I had considered a white and dark background but they felt too stark, that the grey fabric was an unwanted offcut seemed pertinent .


When experimenting with cyanotypes I mainly played with whole nettles on larger cloth, however my early samples were smaller sections and I liked the way they overlapped. For this piece I stitched together some different weights of fabric, linen, cotton , silk. I used to warp and weft threads, some still attached to the fabric to anchor them to the base fabric. In my experiments I made some tiny silver stitches for nettle stings and these need to be added when my fine motor skills are back.


I’ feel very awkwardly about this piece. Hannah Lamb and Cas Holmes among many other artists use whole garments in their work, so I felt that it would be a suitable area to experiment with. The little frock was from the local Help the Aged charity shop, I have no idea of its history, the pattern is very similar to some of my prints of nettle flowers, cyanotyping it with nettles was a challenge, and then it looked too forlorn, too much like the forgotten children of the world, and I wondered at my place to use such imagery, it seems rude and gratuitous, is it using pain for my gain? Clearly a big question that I can not yet answer.But part of my journey non the less. As a piece of textile work I think that I could incorporate some stitchwork into the base fabric similar to the print on the dress, to tie them together more than just the cyanotype.


This Cas Holmes inspired piece is more auto biographical, my nettle moments. On a base of a muslin napkin ( my comfort blanket as a small child was a clean one of these with toothpaste on the corner!) The fabrics are part of my journey. Working on this really made me appreciate the work of Cas Holmes and Anne Kelly, colour placement, composition, layering, stitch detail, I enjoyed playing with this, though I tried lots of permutations before settling on this, there are so many more. This feels like a base layer that I could build on .


My experiments with eco printing got better and I’m amazed at the detail and colour in this piece. To be honest I was really running out of time and I have a hand injury that is preventing any detailed hand stitching, even so I feel that to do this justice needs weeks of consideration. I will produce an Alice Fox inspired piece as I love the delicate balance of her work. Her approach is very much of the slow stitch movement and not to be rushed.








ATV5 part 5 – Building a collection – Project 2 -Building a response – colour palette

Looking at nettles it’s been amazing to see just how wide a variety of colours they come in, at different stages of the season the nettle stands start by being an incredibly vibrant emerald green,at this stage then not great for making fibre from. As they grow an incredibly beautiful blush appears on the stem that turns to a rich burgundy and then a dark aubergine, in some nettles I observed I yellow ochre.
I made a simple drawing of the stem showing the colours and the fluted structure against a paynes grey background – my favourite dark primary..
Looking at the colour exercises, mixing different colours from primaries, I could quite easily identify the primaries I need to use, to create the colours that I have observed . On my colour palette I have shown the primary colours that are used, and also the colours that I observed in the nettles.
Having read slow stitch by Claire Wellersley Smith, and also Stitch Stories by Cass Holmes, I was very taken with the idea of using materials that I already have. I’ve trawled through my stash and found a wide variety of threads and fabrics that may be useful. I did a thread wrap that at this stage is not proportional, as nettle colours vary so widely
I have some nettle yarn both natural and dyed green that has been made in Nepal, I have  also made some nettle cordage in various thickness’s, it is beautiful  and smells delicious but is incredibly time consuming.


I fell off a unicorn!

Okay so it wasn’t a unicorn it was a unicycle equally stupid and unbelievable. In the time I’ve put by for a last minute panic I am now unable to stitch which is deeply depressing, I really should know better I’ve mentioned many times my need for better time management and this is why I negotiated a four week extension and I’m to embarrassed to stretch this further so I will be thinking on my feet to complete the module.

The upside of this is that I have found the dictation button on my iPad, no punctuation, and it really doesn’t get my accent(funny and frustrating by turn) but much quicker than my typing even when my hand is usable. . At least I can catch up with my blog posts. I will go back and edit when my thumb is mended.




Artist research – Hannah Lamb

The piece of work that inspired me to investigate the work of Hannah Lamb further is  In search of green.

For ‘In Search of Green’ a series of garments are suspended from tree branches. The gossamer thin pieces are almost ghostly, an ethereal presence, delicate as memory. These garments reference a personal and sensuous response to moving through landscape.”

A close up of cyanotype with hand stitch is often used as reference to this piece, this cyanotype is combined with a collection of garments, fine cotton and lace I’m sure that to observe the exhibits in the flesh would be quite a poignant experience.

I like the initial simplicity, cyanotypes have a strong, bold silhouette, and on closer inspection more subtle details are picks up by the process.